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NJPW News
by Robert Heard on 25 July 2004 4:18 pm


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Just few bits of news from New Japan....

Nagata is on the verge of vacating his and Kendo Kashin's AJPW World Tag Team Title. Kashin has given his full consent, and Nagata said he wants to prioritize singles activity right now, with the G1 Climax around the corner. The title reign has been marred by problems, mostly since Kashin parted with All Japan. The two have spoken of defending the title in other promotions, such as New Japan of course, but have been quarreling constantly with All Japan management. Nagata wants to focus on firstly winning the G1, then challenging Kazuyuki Fujita for the IWGP Heavyweight Title. Nagata was the last man to defeat Fujita in a singles match, close to two years ago, and thinks he can do it again, despite Fujita's obvious rise in notability since then. Whether or not Nagata formally returns All Japan's tag belts should be decided soon...

Jushin Thunder Liger is promising a shock that blows away the G1 Climax. Liger boasted that a super-important figure will join CTU before the G1 Climax - which could mean tomorrow, as that is the only remaining show. According to Liger, the figure is a "god of junior heavyweights", raising speculation of names like Satoru Sayama and Great Sasuke. But the leading name is New Japan vice-president... Tatsumi Fujinami! Fujinami was considering reverting to his junior roots last year and challenging Kanemoto for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title, but that never panned out. If he joined CTU, he would be doing so not only as a junior, but as a heel! Eyes will be on the Control Terrorism Unit tomorrow, to see what they pull off, if anything...

Chono is considering sanctions against President Kusama, after Kusama forced the 3 Musketeers performance scheduled for 9/2 to be cancelled. Chono's plan is to stop New Japan from gaining profit on his merchandise, which has always been a top seller for the company. Regarding the possibility of October's Sumo Hall show becoming a 20th anniversary commemoration for him, Chono said that is another matter, as he considers it a totally different thing to the 3 Musketeers show. Chono called Kusama an "amateur" in pro wrestling. However, Nakamura has given a thumbs up to the new president, saying the motivation amongst wrestlers has risen since he took charge. One of Kusama's theories seems to be "a career is not made by length, but by it's depth", which Nakamura agrees with, saying the main theme of New Japan should be for wrestlers to give 100% even on small shows. On the day he made those comments, Nakamura vs. Stampede Kid "boiled the hall" in Ichinoseki and got a very good response from the fans.

Katsushi Takemura will return to Osaka Pro for it's big 8/8 event at Osaka IMP Hall. After defeating Masato Matoba yesterday, Kishiwada Gurentai's Black Buffalo challenged Takemura to a singles match, a pairing that promises a lot. Earlier today, Buffalo defeated Gamma in a singles match and further advertised himself as a potential opponent for Takemura. Speaking of Osaka Pro, there has been an interesting story lately regarding Tiger Mask. If you recall, Osaka Pro was a breakaway group from Michinoku Pro, and left Michinoku in a dire state. Tiger Mask was the first man to pledge his loyalty to Sasuke, and it seems resentment still runs deep. Tiger Mask has been running down Osaka Pro lately, and Delfin seems to have taken offense, contacting New Japan management and requesting Tiger be suspended or fined for his verbal attacks.

New Japan's next big show at the 8,000 seat Kobe World Hall will, of course, be on 8/9 during the G1, but another big event is planned there for 10/24. The October show has been titled "STRONG CONVICTION IN KOBE", and will probably be the big WPW taping of that yet to be named series (possibly the 2004 G1 Tag League). The 6,000 seat Kyoto City Gymnasium has also been booked for that tour, on 10/30, and there is another Korakuen Hall booking on 10/31.

Source: stuart@puroresufan.com



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